Feedback, ideas and bug reports after a combined game time of 250+ hours
Good afternoon, fine ladies and gentlemen from Eco the game,
My name is Kate and I am writing on behalf of myself and a small group of my friends. We have discovered your great game 5 days ago and we have been playing almost non-stop. You created something fantastic, gripping, relaxing, inspiring, fun and engaging - we absolutely love it. We can't wait to see where Eco will go in the next months/years and would love to provide you with some feedback, as we really want Eco to be a great success and go far in the game world!
We are playing in a group of 5 people at the moment on a server we created. We sped up the day/night circle (half the time), there is a full skill refund for unlearning a profession and added experience for crafting and actions (0,0005 for crafting and 0,0005 for actions). Why? After 2 in real life days we felt these changes were necessary for us to keep going and not lose fun and stamina while playing.
We've collected a few points that we would love to share with you. Maybe they can help make Eco even more enjoyable.
What we absolutely love
The game forces you to work together, but in a way that makes sense. One can focus on this skill and one can focus another and together they can progress to an even cooler skill. Also love how certain machinery actually requires materials from a range of professions. Its very satisfying, engaging and social.
The balance of the game is great, we love that almost every skill requires some sort of team work / effort. Newly researched skills bring another factor to the whole world.
The whole look and feel of the world, how gathering, digging etc. works.
What we feel could use some more love or additional features
Tailoring: Feels like a waste of time, as the items are purely cosmetic or "just" needed for the excavator. How about scuba-diving gear? Hazmat suits (when you get close to the tailings)? Beekeeper suit? (And yes, beekeeping would be awesome)? Hunting gear? Farming suits? Would love to see this profession getting more love.
Paper milling: I appreciate where this is headed, but I feel you could take it even further. Books for the houses? Notepads? Creating maps?
Linking chests and stockpiles: We found that every individual has to link each stockpile and chest, would love if one person would be enough and if it applied for everyone. Also slightly bigger chests maybe? There is no logical linking system for the stockpiles, needs some work, we feel.
Tailings: They never decay and can't be used for anything else. I love this, it reminds me of toxic waste from nuclear plants. However, Eco's "end solution" for them (storing underground) feels very meh to me, as this is very unrealistic to not spread poison underground and, if I understood that right, Eco wants to think further and help its players to create solutions to be as eco-friendly as possible. Therefor, I would love to see another solution to this wasteful problem.
Queued projects: There is no way to hover over the project to see whats actually missing. You get the icons and it shows you how much is missing, but when some materials have the same icons, it gets confusing. You can go to the skillbook and check it there, but allowing for hovering over the items to show it's tooltip would add a little more quality of life.
Skill trees: overall i think that a branch system would be better, because its easier to know what skill/ability comes first and what`s for later use. Its not very intuitive right now, and if you wouldn't get a full refund for reskilling it would bother me a lot.
Building: Being able to rotate blocks on all axis, would make for much more customization on the houses.
Dirt: We see where you are coming from with one shovel only holding one dirt, but for consistency's sake carrying more without having to bring a cart would be cool.
Power sources: When entering e.g. the wind turbine it would be cool to see how much of an area it is covering. Similar to the property claims.
Machines: the cost of a machine could be upped substantially if you chose to add a filter to it, to create less pollution. Right now, you kind of have to accept pollution but can't actively combat our wasteful impact on the land.
Farming: As I am a huge eco warrior and gardener myself, this profession was an easy pick for me. However, after 4 days playtime, I am a little disappointed.
Having to de-leaf trees for example prior to chopping them down for seeds is very weird. Also makes the trees look very stupid and wouldn't they die if left without leafs? The first day I got no seeds at all, which resulted in me going through the whole world, chopping leaves off to get some seeds. Also, some kind of ladder would make the leafs in top more reachable if that system is here to stay.
Using fertilizer made little to no sense to me, I achieve the best results by directly re-seeding when I pick and forage out in the world. The soil analyzer also comes very late in the farming skill tree, thus it feels like a tease. I think it should work like this: adding fertilizer to non-hot spot zones should make them into hot spot zones.
Picking up produce gives me a plethora of seeds, I do honestly not see the point in the seed making skill line. But maybe that's due to our small group of players. However, these seeds are non compostable/destroyable and they take up a lot of storage space. I understand, why you didn't add a destroy function, in real life you can't just destroy things to make them go away, but maybe a recycling machine, compost place or a seed shredder would help a little?
I personally expected to be able to make a veggie/wheat farm close to our village, however if not in hotzones, this is not possible, fair enough. Maybe a glasshouse could be implemented later? I do love going through the world gathering and replanting but it does get very repetitive and feels like a chore. While my buddies are building laser tools, I am still digging in the dirt and chopping tree leaves :D
Fishing: Its pretty bugged and also not "fun". Maybe you already planned on improving it, but my Norwegian boys are fishermen irl and would love to waste whole days of their lives fishing in game as well.
What we would love to see in the future
More varied building options like fences, different shapes and styles.
Farm animals like chicken and cows (they also could produce fertilizer, pollute the air or could help with hoeing the soil or transporting dirt)
Taming wolves as pets? :D
We obviously know the game is still in its early stages and yet you have come so far already. Our comments are in no way meant as criticism or negative in any way, but rather as constructive feedback for a game we all thoroughly enjoyed and wholly believe in.
I hope this was a little useful and please accept our most sincere congratulations: you have created an amazing game. We cannot wait to see what the future holds.
Kate and the boys
Of course, now the ideas start rolling in.
Furthermore: being able to pause research to work on something else, rather than dismissing it completely.
As one of Kate's "boys", I'd like to add something about the Tailing issue.
I'm the resident "smelter" of our group and as such I've had my fair share of run-ins with tailings. I love the idea behind them and how the line between progression and ecological waste is drawn in this game, but I feel like the solution to the problem is extremely mediocre.
Right now, you smelt ores and get tailings. Tailings pollute the environment. Great, I love it. However, the solution to the tailings is pretty subpar in my opinion. Burying them under ground and hiding them away? I feel like this is a very non-eco friendly solution. "Hiding away" the problem doesn't make sense in my opinion. There should be some timeconsuming, drawn out way of dealing with them. Granted, I realize there is another option to Tailings, being the blast furnace. That is nice as well, but we ended up producing 5 stockpiles full of Tailings before we even got to the blast furnace. By then it still felt like there was no other option than to heavily pollute the ecosystem since you need iron (steel) for pretty much any machine going forward.
I would personally love to see more intuitive ways to save the environment (atleast somewhat), hence why I suggested expensive airfilters that could be attached to machinery. This still doesn't take away from the Tailing problem though, as I now sit with 5 stockpiles full of Tailings that will never go away :^)
Nevertheless, this is the best 20 euros I spent in a long time and the 40 hrs so far have been well worth it, so thanks alot for that.